International Students
Information for International Graduate Students

We welcome your interest in Mills College. As an international student, you will find that understanding the American regulations on international student admission is of utmost importance to your success in enrolling in a graduate program. The International Applicant Packet and information below describes the specific procedures that you must follow if you apply to and are admitted to Mills.


Mills College requires all applicants who hold a bachelor's degree from outside the US to submit hard-copy official transcripts from their institution for all undergraduate and graduate work. If the transcript is written in a language other than English, we require one official transcript in the native language and one official transcript with a certified English translation. In addition, applicants are required to have their official transcripts evaluated by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) to ensure that it is equivalent to a four-year US baccalaureate degree. There is no exception to this requirement.


Written recommendations sent in support of your application should speak to your English writing and speaking abilities, potential for success in graduate studies, as well as your commitment to your academic purpose. Special recommendation forms are provided as part of the online application or are available for download on the program application page.

English Proficiency Requirement

All non-native speakers of English are required to show proof of English language proficiency unless they hold a bachelor’s degree from an English speaking, regionally accredited university or college located in the US, Canada, Australia, or Great Britain. Mills College accepts the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), the Duolingo English Test (DET), or the English Language School (ELS) Level 112 Certificate.

Graduate programs in English require minimum TOEFL scores of 600 on the paper-based test, 100 for the internet-based test, an IELTS overall band-score of 7.0 or higher, or 70% on the DET.  All other programs require a minimum of 550 on the paper-based test, 80 for the internet-based test, an IELTS overall band-score of 6.5 or higher, or 60% on the DET.

It is the expectation of Mills College that all students meet the minimum English proficiency requirements for their program. For students who receive a score just below the required minimum, they may retake the TOEFL or IELTS, enroll in ELS, or take the DET and receive a passing score.

More information about these exams is available online at,, or

Conditional Admission

Students who have met the program academic requirements but have not yet satisfied the English language proficiency may be admitted to Mills under the conditional admission policy. Students admitted under conditional admission must enroll in an English for Academic Programs course at an ELS Language Center and complete the ELS Level 112 Certificate, or meet the minimum TOEFL, IELTS, or DET requirements for their program prior to enrolling at Mills. Conditional admission is valid for up to one year. Students who do not complete the language requirement in that time must re-apply to Mills.

To learn more about the ELS Language Center, please visit

Certification of Finances

The Certificate of Finances form and bank statement are due prior to enrollment. Mills cannot issue your form I-20 without these documents.

US government regulations require that international students show evidence of guaranteed funds to support their tuition and living expenses while studying in the US.

These funds may be provided by a person other than the student and this may be indicated on the Certificate of Finances form. Official documentation of the funds, usually in the form of a bank statement, is also required.


Many of our programs offer merit-based scholarships for international students. Please contact the program directly or visit our tuition and financial aid pages to learn more. Many third party or country-specific organizations may offer scholarships to international students. Please refer to this sampling of outside scholarships.

International applicants should be aware that financial assistance is very limited. Even applicants who receive financial aid must be prepared to contribute significantly to the cost of their education.

Obtaining a Visa

When we send you the I-20 form, you will take the form, passport, and proof of your ability to support your college education (bank statements, letters of credit, scholarship letter, etc.) to the nearest US consulate. Please make an appointment in advance. An official at the consulate will stamp an F-1 visa inside your passport. Together with your I-20 form, this visa will enable you to enter the United States and to be a student at the institution named on the I-20. Should your plans of study change, you must contact us immediately to update your record and status. Consult with the nearest US consulate or embassy if you have any questions about the visa application process.


On-campus housing is available for graduate students. Please see the Housing section of the website for more information about on-campus housing. Mills College generally advises international students to plan to live on campus, if possible, in the first year in order to develop a support system with other students as they learn about the fascinating resources in the Bay Area.

If you plan to live on campus, the College recommends they apply for on-campus housing early. If you plan to live off campus, we advise you to research commuting options and neighborhoods or contact us for assistance.

Do You Have Questions?

If you have further questions about the graduate admission application process, please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at +1.510.430.3309 or

  ICS Program Brochure

Living on Campus

Commuting to Campus

Student Handbook

Graduate Catalog

Online Application

Check Your Application Status

Contact Information
P: 510.430.3309

If you have a specific question for a faculty member, please contact or call 510.430.2226.

Last Updated: 11/17/15